Ecopetrol prequalifies 4 firms for Cartagena refinery contract

- Friday, February 10, 2006

Ecopetrol prequalifies 4 firms for Cartagena refinery contract

Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol has prequalified four potential bidders for an EPC contract to modernize and expand its Cartagena refinery, the company said in a statement.

The pre-selected companies are Swiss mining and trading company Glencore, UK oil giant BP's (NYSE: BP) North American subsidiary, Japanese engineering company Marubeni and Brazil's federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), the statement said.

Ecopetrol will call for bids soon from these companies, including economic bids for the project.

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Bids will be received by June 2006 and the contract awarded by July, according to the timetable on Ecopetrol's website. Construction is scheduled to wrap up in 2010.

The Cartagena project is designed to increase the processing capacity of the refinery to 140,000 barrels a day (b/d) of crude from 75,000b/d currently, according to a previous BNamericas report.

The increased production from the refinery will be distributed mainly on the domestic market and on international markets such as the Caribbean and the US.

The refinery is in the Mamonal industrial zone, west of the city of Cartagena on the northern Caribbean coast of Colombia. The refinery has access to the Atlantic Ocean and the interior of the country through the Canal del Dique and oil pipelines.

The refinery, one of Ecopetrol's four such facilities, was built in 1956 and currently exports about 42,800b/d, representing 18% of Ecopetrol's total exports.